Update from the Factory

For those of you who are wondering what’s happening with regards to the delivery of our new Saba 50, which was due to roll out of the Factory in June, here is the latest update from Multihull Solutions, our Fountaine Pajot agent in Australia….

Dear Client 

I hope you have had a good week since my last update. The situation overseas is as follows:

  • France is still in lock down. They are reviewing the situation and renewing the isolation in fortnightly increments. I have been told they are likely to extend again, following the fortnight they are currently in. They are optimistic the work force will start to come back from the 4th of May. This ties in with the schools in France returning following the Easter Holiday.
  • The Fountaine Pajot factory is in the Charente-Maritime department of the region Poitou-Charentes, in the north west of France. Romain is in lock down in Quimper in Brittany, further north. The west/north-west of France is the least affected by the COVID-19 virus. The east being worst affected, as it is connected to the rest of mainland Europe. The yard Managers are optimistic that the region is contained and they will be one of the first back to work……. We will have to wait and see?

Please call me or e mail me if you have any questions regarding your order.

(Note. I will not have any updates on delivery times until such time that the French Government allows the production lines to start work again)

Planning for our New Catamaran

With La Mischief sold, its now time to turn our focus onto our new Saba 50 catamaran. With the world in lockdown it’s a little tricky to put hard dates into our project plan, but there is still much planning and decision making to be done. 

The search for a name for our new boat goes on, as does our search for the best country to register it in. Australia is out as the boat will be owned in joint names. The USA is an option but I like the idea of a neutral country. We like the Maltese flag but are unsure of putting the ownership of our major asset into a Maltese company, where corruption is a known problem. A lot of the other options – BVIs, Cook Islands, Cayman Islands – still have that annoying Union Jack in the top corner – something that also bugs me about the Aussie flag. The Marshall Islands is an option, especially when you can have “Bikini” as a home port, but the Flag is a bit so so. At the moment, I am leaning towards the Cook Islands as I love the Pacific and Multihulls Solutions, our Fountain Pajot agents are well versed with registering boats there. 

The choice of dinghy is also top of mind. We are down to two options, both Highfield. We like the OC Dinghies from New Zealand, but they don’t have a console option. 

Our first choice appears to be the Highfield Ocean Master 390 tender (190kg) with Yamaha 40 HP (97kg). This will set us back about $27,000 US. We like its ocean-going capabilities, as we love to go exploring in our dinghy. We also like its false floor that will keep our gear dry. It will mean that we need to go for the more expensive Tenderlift option to hold the extra weight and getting it onto a beach will be more of a challenge. 

Our second option is a light grey Highfield Classic CL380 tender (80kg) with FCT console and Yamaha 30HP.  This is considerably cheaper at approximately $15,000 US, plus we can save an additional $3,000 in a cheaper, smaller, lighter Tenderlift option.

On the planning side, I went hunting for a good free project planning tool and came up with Wrike. I’ve managed to build out a lot of the tasks and dependencies around two guessimates of when the Factory will open back up (maybe start of June) and when we will get our Saba ex factory (my current guess is end of September). It looks like we will be spending Winter in La Rochelle doing the fitout and then leaving in April next year for the Mediterranean (on the same timetable as La Mischief in 2013).

As well as the gantt chart in Wrike, I also have the following documents and lists in various stages of completion. 

  • Aftermarket specifications in MS Word – 93 items that need quotations from Uchimata (some of which we’ve since removed – eg. Lithium batteries as we will go with the supplied AGM’s until they die). 
  • Test Plans in MS Word for each individual item (didn’t do this for La Mischief and we missed a few things). 
  • An Issue Log in MS Word – there’s always issues!
  • A Detailed “To Do It Ourselves” List in MS Word – all those things we need to do ourselves when we are on the boat in France. 
  • List of Contents of Boxes Shipped from La Mischief to France – we have packed 68 boxes of stuff (personal effects, line, lifejackets, drogues, etc. etc.). Now know why we need a bigger boat. 
  • MS To Do List for stuff we need to buy in USA and take with us (eg. Rangefinder – old one stopped working). 
  • MS To Do List for stuff we need to buy in France (eg. Dinghy anchor) 
  • MS To Do List of possible boat names. 

So as Dee and I sit out the virus in isolation at Dee’s Mums place in Somerset, California, there is enough to keep me occupied. Can’t wait for the world to return to its new normal so we can get off land and back on the water.